EP Think Tanks

Hospitality is about people and understanding. Through monthly events, the Think Tanks will support the development of original thinking and engagement in thought leadership among peers and across generations. There is new generation that wants to be freed up to create action-led and reasoned solutions and an established group of senior leaders that has to be taken outside of their comfort zone and be exposed to new ideas.

Attending these events will support the development of:

  • Lateral thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Adapting to and managing change
  • Networking and communication
  • Presenting a clear vision
  • Building trusted business relationships

Annual membership: £400+VAT

For information about membership please contact


Past events:

  •  8th June 2017, 8:30am-10am, Breakfast with Alastair Stewart, MD of Etc. Venues, How do you harness the best of both corporate and entrepreneurial skillsets to deliver growth and exceptional performance?

On Thursday 8th June we explored how a core team from corporate backgrounds became disruptors in the meetings venue market.

About our speaker:

Alastair Stewart has had a 30 year career in the meetings venue industry, 20 years of which were in a plc corporate environment and the last 10 of which has been as the entrepreneur behind etc.venues which has quadrupled in size since he led a buy-in in 2006.

  • Wednesday 26th April 2017 at 8am, Bob Cotton former Chief Executive of BHA, “The Future of Work: how will you adapt and reinvent yourself?”

According to a study by Oxford Brookes University nearly half the existing jobs in the US (47%) and around 35% of those in the UK are at risk of being automated in the next 10 to 20 years. There is a need to make people important again. Too many businesses have relied on their brands to do the work when actually what can achieve success is the eldest fashioned of skills – people building strong relationships, trust, vision, leadership and fun at work.

What kind of jobs, if any, will exist in the future? What skills will be required to remain employable?

Regardless of the stage of your career or position, to succeed in times that are fast changing, history tells us that you need to re-invent yourself, to learn new skills, constantly evolve knowledge, share and collaborate. People are one true differential and will continue to be. Our speaker, Bob Cotton OBE is the former chief executive of the BHA (The British Hospitality Association), is currently non-executive director and consultant for a number of hospitality organisations.

About our speaker:

A natural leader, persuasive like a true politician, Bob was the CEO of British Hospitality Association for over 10 years. After graduating, Bob begun his career with Gardner Merchant (now Sodexo UK Ltd) and rose through the company to the position of Director of Communications and Strategic Development.  He was then appointed tourism adviser, DCMS and chief executive of BHA and he became President of Hospitality Action (the industry’s benevolent organisation), and a board member of Tourism South East and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

Throughout his career, Bob gained a series of awards and recognition including the Special Award by Master Innholders and Catey Special Award. Today he holds non-executive roles with: the Splash Partnership, Thurlestone Estates and Indicater Ltd.

He was awarded an OBE in the 2003 New Year’s Honours List for services to the tourism and hospitality industry.  

The future of the industry is being shaped by those taking on new ideas, not those reacting to the rules being thrust upon them.  

  •  Tuesday 4th April, Jerry Brand, serial entrepreneur. Intrapreneurship and disruption within business

This event has explored Intrapreneurship and disruption within business. What is intrapreneurship? How much change or innovation has been created by established players? The real breakthroughs have been created by those brave enough to think differently, and many will agree that many cultures have become staid and ineffective and cannot see how to create change as it does take so long to happen. Within large companies this is often true. This poses an opportunity for growth and ro develop ability to adapt to the moment

As markets become increasingly saturated with choice and consumers expectations are continually on the rise there is a need for companies to free up the creative talent pool within to look for innovation, new thinking and ideas.

On 4th April we ran an interactive session with Jerry Brand, who explored the key foundations to entrepreneurial/ Intrepreneurial thinking and the impact developing these skills can have on individuals, businesses and the industry. Jerry also provided an overview of the BizKit test and insight into has you can establish if an idea is a good idea and how to think differently.  This session provided valuable and insightful conversation and a great networking opportunity.

About the speaker:

As founder of Russell & Brand and being involved other businesses such as Host Management, Jerry Brand is an established and highly regarded entrepreneur with a strong passion for creativity and innovation as well as the need to give back to  the next generation of leaders. His latest creation is the Brand Foundation- a charity aimed to help individuals developing entrepreneurial skills and companies to become more “intrapreneurial”. Read more about Jerry Brand

  • 16th March 2017. Atul Pant, Social entrepreneur, innovator and founder of Timeless Life Skills

The first event will explore and discuss The fear of failure. Fear of failure creates a barrier that does need debate as it is not just a barrier to personal development but also to business leadership. Many businesses today want to actively encourage disruption and activate real innovation within their businesses. What’s the difference between complex and complicated? How often do you analyse your ways of thinking? Corporates can, by nature, be risk averse and have developed strong internal processes supported by todays technological advancements, however it is for this reason the one real differential in business is people; their thinking and how they can bring change and continually adapt.

About the speaker:

With passion and compassion, Atul strives to create innovative, yet affordable learning solutions to impart life skills essential for success and wellbeing in the 21st century (and beyond!) for committed, distracted and reluctant learners. With a small team he built Timeless Lifeskills as an Online Learning Academy offering enticing ways of learning essential life skills like learning to learn, learning to think, learning to earn & give and learning to be. Atul has done consultancy work, published two books, conducted workshops, given talks, delivered online courses and created numerous videos and presentations.